Following his second round TKO loss to Rafael Dos Anjos at Fight Night 42 last Saturday, Jason High was understandably frustrated. The loss dropped his UFC record to below .500, came in his lightweight debut, and snapped the first two-fight win streak of his promotional career in the process. That it came via a stoppage that some (Michael Bisping included) viewed as premature, and at the judgement of a ref who has been shaky at best in recent months, only further demonstrates where his head might’ve been in the heat of the moment.
In any case, “The Kansas City Bandit” crossed the line when he proceeded to shove referee Kevin Mulhall in the moments after the fight had been waved off, and is now facing potential disciplinary action for doing so.
High later apologized for his error of judgment on Twitter, but according UFC Senior Director of Public Relations Dave Sholler at the evening’s post-fight press conference, he isn’t out of the woods yet:
On behalf of the organization, completely unacceptable. You can’t put your hands on the official. In the heat of the moment, a lot of things can happen, but you can’t put your hands on an official.
We’ll regroup on Monday with the (UFC) executive team and we’ll figure out if there’s any other things that need to happen. But ultimately, from a decision-making standpoint, from fines and suspensions, that’s up to commissioner [Thomas] King.
Translation: Matt Hughes ’bout to drop the hammer, son.
A fun fact I learned while reading up on High’s altercation was that in 2010, Keith Jardine apparently received an indefinite suspension from the Texas Athletic Commission when he shoved a ref following his split decision loss to Trevor Prangley at Shark Fights 13. While I can’t imagine that High will face such a suspension, he could easily see himself ousted from the UFC for a breach of the UFC’s Fighter Conduct Policy. So…Daley vs. High, anyone?
Although he has yet to comment on the situation, I imagine Dana White’s reaction will be something along the lines of “Why couldn’t it have been Mazzagatti and why couldn’t it have been a sleeper hold?”